A Hervé Quartet

These four post-impressionistic paintings by French artist, Jules René Hervé (1987-1981), came in with a similar condition, of which the most widespread problem is an odd and somewhat inappropriate varnish, that is not ideal for oil paints, and we suspect was applied by a gallery. The painting in the worst condition is the indoor scene with the red chair and the two embracing figures. The paint film contains structural issues, and we believe that it is likely the oldest of the quartet. And the street scene, which is the largest, wins the prize for being the dirtiest. The plan is to remove the varnish, carefully clean, address any unique issues of the paintings, then apply conservation varnish, before then archivally fitting them into new custom frames that we will have made in the interim. Frame styles are still being discussed with the client–it’s usually a wise decision to wait before committing until after the paintings have been cleaned, as the colors can change their tone. Stay tuned for more…

Jules René Hervé was an Academic French painter, born in 1887. His was born in Langres, a town in the eastern part of France, where he began his art studies in an evening school. Known for his paintings of cityscapes and landscapes, Hervé painted in an impressionistic style that captured the shimmering texture of the city and the softer light of the countryside. When asked, the artist mentions that as far as he can remember, he always wanted to become an artist of talent to being able to express through color the beauty of everything he would see.

Hervé arrived in Paris in 1908 and first continued his studies at the School of Decorative Arts, and then at the Fine Art School. Having his first-time exhibition at the Salon des Artistes français in 1910, where he became a very important member. Hervé was also trained at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts Decoratifs of Paris and studied with Fernand Cormon (French 1845–1924) and Jules Adler (French, 1865-1952). From 1911 to 1943, he taught painting with many generations of artists. Hervé was awarded multiple honors during his lifetime, he received a silver medal in 1914 from the Association of French Artists, including a gold medal by the association of the French artists in 1925 and a gold medal for the World Fair of 1937.

Hervé is both a painter of daily countryside themes in which we find the characters performing the daily tasks and a painter of Parisian scenes. His artistic interpretation is filled with sensibility by the use of delightful strokes of light and color. The Paris seen through Hervé’s eyes is a city of poetry, showing its most charming aspects, where the viewer becomes a part of the “City of Lights”, with its sentimental life and feelings of that special atmosphere and all of her charm.

Indifferent to the current fashions of his time, and outside any trends, he never ceased to deepen the technical secrets of his art, and after more than 50 years of artistic experience, he achieved a complete mastery of his own style. No only Jules René Hervé is a painter of great talent, but he represents the purest tradition of French art. His works can be compared to the great impressionists of former times, playing with his palette as a musician does with a musical instrument, resulting for each of his works a marvelous symphony of color and light.

His paintings are in numerous museum collections in France and abroad, like in the Pads, Langares, Saint-Etienne, Annecy, and Tourcoing France; and also in institutions like the Chicago Art Institute, Musée d’art et d’histoire de Langres, Musée du Petit Palais in Paris, Casablanca Marocco, Dijon, Tourcoing, Musée des beaux-arts de Tourcoing, Musée des beaux-arts de Saint-Étienne, Musée des beaux-arts d’Annecy and the Dahesh Museum in New York City. Hervé died in 1981.

Jules René Hervé



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